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Wireless

September 4 2008 at 5:59 PM

Vince  (Login MoxiFox)
Sufi


Response to Cool

Can be mind-boggling.

I have a Link-sys router (bought somewhat on the advice from Rev. Jack but not totally). I got this router oh ........ maybe 4 years ago now. It's a WRT54G and it's given me good service. But oh, the headaches of setup!

I started off buying a D-Link and couldn't get that to work. Followed all the instructions to the letter and NOTHING worked. I brought it back and got another one. It failed as well and I brought that back as well. Then I went to a different store and bought this Link-sys. It didn't work either. (I was just cabling, at this stage).

I realized that the odds of 3 different routers failing in a row were about as slim as winning a lottery and so there HAD to be some underlying reason. Turned out (after MUCH researching) that I needed to uninstall both my firewall and anti-virus. Not disable but actually UNINSTALL both. (Was using Zone Alarm at that time). I did that and everything went smooth as pureed potatoes. I also notified the stores with this information and they didn't care.

Sometime later, I took the wireless plunge -just as an experiment, basically. I bought a D-link wireless card and went through the agonies of configuring the two for "best" security. (The Linksys configuration is SO dorky). I turned OFF the SSID broadcasting since that seemed to be a "good" security measure and programmed all the info into the D-link configuration tool instead ...... thus ...... the CARD had to make a request through the programmed channel and the router would assign it a DHCP lease and IP. I was using WEP security at that time. Only ONE wireless on the network.

The wireless computer (assigned to the wife), runs XP and ME. The old pport HP printer still runs best on ME and the Disklite defragger works best in ME as well, so I keep ME around for a few small chores. Thus, I had XP and ME configured to connect wirelessly with the router downstairs.

Then I "noticed" that if I transferred files by wireless, over 10 mb in size, the transfer would slow, lock, hang and then simply DROP ! After a lot of searching again, I found a firmware upgrade for the Linksys. That fixed the problem. (I couldn't believe it; this router had already been on the market for 3 years or more and no word or alert existed on the Linksys site or the internet, that the firmware on this router needed to be updated to eliminate this problem).

Well then, when I installed XP service pack 3, it suddenly caused problems with the D-Link configuration tool. D-link company is no longer interested in updating their software on this old card, so, after a month I gave up on them and just disabled the D-link service and went with the (superior) XP zero configuration interface instead. I also decided to go with the more secure WPA2 encryption using TKIP-AES algorithm mode. No problem with XP, the wireless card or the router but ........ Millenium has no wireless configuration tool and has to use the third party D-Link configuration tool and the D-Link tool doesn't have such advanced capability. Consequently, ME no longer connects with the router.~

Subsequent searching also turned up the info that turning OFF the SSID broadcasting on the router is merely a mickey-mouse band-aid for increased security and offers NO real improvement at all and -in fact- just SLOWS down transfers because the card has to keep including the SSID info in all of its own packets.

By this time I figured I could wade through some fairly deep wireless doo-doo without drowning and so ......... I visited my brother in Camrose and tackled a problem he was having with HIS router/cable/wireless connection issues. He's on DSL and uses Telus' modem/router combo box.

Well ....... little did I suspect the hell I was in for. Turned out my "dummy" brother had done his homework pretty good and was doing everything perfectly by the book. It wasn't HIS fault, LOL. It was the stupid router.

He'd already had the router replaced a few months ago and it seemed ok for awhile and then would suddenly quit working on wireless. (Now, when a system works fine and then inexplicably quits, it CAN'T be the operators fault, eh?) Telus' service rep advice was to start over with a new SSID and reconfigure everything and sure 'nuff, it would work for awhile and then quit. I spent hours and hours trying to resolve the problem but never actually got to the bottom of it. Just a dorky router I suspect.

Anyway, ONE of his problems was ............ he had 3 different wireless configuration tools running on his laptop. He had his native Toshiba utility, the Telus utility and XP's own zero config tool. I uninstalled the Telus tool but he wanted to keep the Toshiba one because he uses it when he's in Arizona for the winter.

So there you go ............ How MANY factors does one have to consider? Dozens.

More than one configuration tool running. XP service pack 3 screws up D-Link. Router may not be releasing leases and hangs on to the old IP addresses/mac number combos. (Turn off the router completely for about 3 minutes and turn it back on. This should clean out the memory stack and allow for new assignments). Router might be getting aged and locked up. Maybe you don't have enough computers allowed on the list so that the router can assign a new IP to a changed/location wireless card? Maybe you don't have compatible configurations between router and card? Maybe firewall or anti-virus is blocking a "new" intruder?

The beat goes on ......

-Vince


 
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